Sunday, September 15, 2013
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ronnie Hawkins
Ronnie Hawkins is a legend in Toronto. Forty Days was one of his two big international hits in 1959. He moved to Canada and played local clubs for years and discovered young musicians. He was born Jan. 10, 1935 in Huntsville, AR and grew up in Fayetteville. He formed his band The Hawks while attending the University of Arkansas and they toured the south. Hawkins owned the Rockwood Club in Fayetteville. After a failed 1957 audition for Sun Records, Conway Twitty suggested that Hawkins should play Canada. He came to Toronto in 1958 and never left. Drummer Levon Helm was the only member of The Hawks to remain in Canada. So Hawkins recruited Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson and they became The Hawks. And as we all know, they became The Band in the late 60s. Hawkins recorded for the Canadian label Quality Records and this led to a US record deal with Roulette Records. Forty Days was his first single. It's actually a cover of Chuck Berry's Thirty Days. It reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100. The next single Mary Lou reached #26. Those were his two big hits. You can get them on this Collectables comp. Hawkins' on stage energy earned him the nickname Mr. Dynamo but he is also known as The Hawk and Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins. After The Hawks left Hawkins in 1964 to back up Bob Dylan, Hawkins continued to play clubs in Toronto and many young musicians were discovered by Hawkins. This included Robbie Lane and the Disciples, Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band, David Clayton Thomas, Beverly D'Angelo, Crowbar, Bearfoot, Skylark and Pat Travers. Hawkins has continued to be active in Toronto. He currently lives in Peterborough, ON. He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2002. He has been battling pancreatic cancer in recent years. Here's Ronnie Hawkins performing Forty Days on The Dick Clark Beech-Nut Show May 9, 1959.